I would seem rather ungrateful, if I were to complain about San Francisco’s weather, but I’m going to do it anyway. Yes, our weather is quite agreeable to an outdoor lifestyle. It’s typically in the mid-60s with a crisp blue sky, and when there is heavy fog, it stays in the Avenues. But we only experience two seasons here — Rainy and Perfect. Besides this blip of an El Nino year that we just had, perfect weather has been stealing the show for quite some time.
Occasionally, I mourn the loss of the four seasons that I enjoyed while growing up in the Northeast, and the charming sayings and traditions that come along with them. Here are ten things about the seasons that my San Francisco kids will just never understand.
- Dreaming of a white Christmas. There is nothing more idyllic than waking up to a fresh blanket of snow on Christmas morning. Maybe this one isn’t as exciting for my non-Christian friends, but for us Christmas celebrators, this was the ultimate life goal.
- Snow days. Wishing for snow, wearing pajamas inside-out to help its chances, waking up early to listen to the school closing announcements on the radio, being disappointed if only a delay was called, keeping the radio on in hopes of the decision being changed to a full day off — these are a few of my favorite things.
- Punxsutawney Phil, the ground hog. February 2nd will come and go each year. Phil and his shadow will predict six more weeks of winter or an early spring, and my kids will be completely unaffected by this hokey tradition.
- “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This sentence will make no sense to my children. There’s no extreme swings in weather here, and they’ll never know the debilitating psychological effects of having a blizzard in March when they’re just so over the snow already.
- “April showers bring May flowers.” By April, it’s dry as a bone in SF, and everyone plants succulents, anyway.
- Establishing a rain date. San Francisco’s steady weather means we almost always know what to expect, and for almost all of the year, we can count on Mother Nature accommodating our outdoor plans. My children will walk around with the cocky assurance that the weather will cooperate for them, and they won’t know the obsession of checking the long term forecast multiple times a day leading up to a wedding or family reunion or other major weather-dependent event. They’ll never understand the complex coordination of lining up an alternate date and confirming the plans with every single guest.
- Warm summer nights. There was nothing better than going out to play after dinner, still wearing a tank top and shorts. Never ever will my kids know this feeling on the West Coast. Nights are always chilly, if not frigid. Coats are always required.
- Lightning bugs (aka fireflies). I don’t know if this is a climate thing or a city living thing, but either way, my kids won’t get to run around in our backyard trying to capture lightning bugs in mason jars. It’s a tragedy, really.
- Playing in a freshly raked pile of leaves. The anticipation of the jump, the crunch and smell of the leaves, and wearing the cold-weather clothes that were recently pulled from the back of the closet — this meant Fall was in full swing and the holiday season and winter break from school were just a few frosty weeks away. What could be better?
- Complaining about the weather. The four seasons just can’t win with the inhabitants of their climate. It’s always too hot, too cold, too rainy or too dry. The mild, steady weather of San Francisco means it’s a boring topic of conversation, and we can go weeks without consulting our weather app to choose our daily outfits. (The answer is always layers.)
Actually, I guess I’ve proven that the uneventful weather still lends itself to complaint, so let’s make that only nine things about the seasons my children will never understand. You’re welcome, kids.